Short staffing delays opening of new Christian County Courthouse

OZARK, Mo.-- Christian County is getting a new courthouse. However court may not be in session anytime soon.

Christian County Sheriff Brad Cole says he's not pointing the finger at anyone, he's simply saying there isn't enough staffing for the new courthouse to actually open.

On East Walnut and 2nd Ave, a new courthouse is being built. The equipment is there, the foundation is laid, the money just isn't there to staff it.

"Unfortunately the revenue that the county brings in is not enough to sustain those positions to hire enough people to secure the building," explained Christian County Sheriff.

They'll need a minimum of 31 security personals to staff all three courts and as of now, they only have 18.

"We're going from 4 court rooms to 6 court rooms. You can't take the security out of one building and put it into another. It doesn't work that way," explained Cole.

However, before that building is open, safety has to be top priority.

"We have to protect people, we have to protect our judges, our county employees, and any other citizen off the street that comes into that courthouse. But first and foremost by federal law we have to protect the safety and security of the inmates that we house," explained Cole.

There are key roles that are played to make this possible.

" You have to have deputies that can transport the inmates, you have to have court bailiffs, you have to have entry security, you have to have people roving the facility," Cole added.

Although the list goes on and on, nothing can change the fact that, there's no funds.

" We've presented what it takes, what is needed and what is an necessity. and it's up to the commission to decide what to do moving forward, " said Cole.

The new courthouse is said to be completed by spring of next year, but the plans for it are still unsure.